October 23, 2006

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS: “Using human embryonic stem cells, researchers have cured a Parkinson’s-like disease in rats. Unfortunately, the Parkinson’s cure causes brain tumors.”

I favor research using embryonic stem cells, as I don’t think we know enough to say what will work — and research with embryonic cells might well provide insights that would let us use adult stem cells effectively. But I think it’s being oversold as something that promises near-term cures, as alas it doesn’t.

I like this take on the debate, though:

Because Stem Cells have been politicised left right and sideways.

Right, Embryonic Stem Cells == Baby-killing.

Left, The right want cancer patients to DIE to prove a point.

The research is in the early stages now, and people shouldn’t pretend to more certainty than is there.

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